Monday, 20 March 2023

Be Adult Music may have just had their 7th anniversay, but there's nothing junior about this new release as two tracks by Kataya & Sonixfear get a make over by Karol XVII & MB Valence.

The original tracks came out in 2017 and I can see why they would be favourites of Karol XVII & MB Valence.

'Two Scrambled Eggs' get reheated in two different versions, a 'dreamix' and a 'remix'.  The dream mix is fantastically deep Italo-Balearic as you might guess from the title.  There's a bit of vocal vocoder efx which I'm usually not keen on but this is the exception.

The 'remix' version is less dreamy (Ed. you don't say) and more main room with the synths joining the vocoder vocals in a complimentary way.

For 'Mentions' they've done another 'Dreamix', reduced the fake crowd efx so it's less 'Benny And The Jets' (which is a good thing) and added more production to give it a more rounded sound from the mindscape; but "more cowbells" I hear you chant.

I know what you're thinking:

1. Where's the remix of 'Bankoland' that came out on the original EP?  Perhaps they're saving that one for the follow-up to the label's recent '7 Anniversay' compilation (see review HERE soon)

2. What track is Sumsuch going to include on this months' Colour and Pitch Sessions? We'll find out the answer to that one very soon.

This is a great release to follow Vincenzo's double header 'Extrasolar' / 'The Witching Hour' (see review HERE) and if you need more, there's pleanty from the back catalog of Karol XVII & MB Valence 'Remixography 2002-2022' on Loco Records.

Artist: Kataya & Sonixfear 

Title: Scrambled [Mentions / Two Scrambled Eggs]
Release date: 20th March, 2023
Label; Be Adult Music
Catalog Number: BAM302


Friday, 17 March 2023

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There are lots of Afro-infused releases for the dancefloor at the moment but one label that's a must to keep up to date with is the Berlin/Ghana based Philophon run by Max Weissenfeldt.
With their work at the "Joy Sound Studios" they've released some fantastic music over that past 10 years, mostly as 45 singles.
And this latest single is a dip into the past with The Polyversal Souls' 'Sad Nile' (taken from their 2015 debut album, 'Invisible Joy') that's been remastered and had some ethio-jazz tones added; Woody Herman meets Mulatu Astatke and who wouldn't want to hear that?
It definitely sounds more beefy than the original and on the b-side, in the same ball park, there's a instrumental version of Florence Adooni's 'Mam Pe'ela Su'ure' featuring the flute of Jimi Tenor who had been the musical figurehead of the label's jazzier side.  Watch out for those space synths too!
It's another 'must have' from this must have label but if you were going to push me to recommend other Philophon highlights (given that anything by Jimi Tenor is brilliant), anything by The Band Of Enlightenment, anything by Alogte Oho & His Sounds Of Joy and Idris Ackamoor & The Pyramids (in addition to their more widely known releases on the Strut label) but you really can't go wrong.

Artist: The Polyversal Souls 

Title: Sad Nile / Mam Pe'ela Su'ure

Release date: 17th March, 2023

Label Philophon

Cat. No. : CPH45030

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DJ/producer Neenoo has his first release on Adesso Music and it's got a massive middle eastern vibe on it plus the cool vocals of Kaehla.

Neenoo began his career in Lebanon at Beirut’s top clubs whilst Keahla is based in Dubai.

It would have been interesting to have had a taste of a remix but this is a big tune so we're definitely feeling the love for this one.

There's lots of this middle eastern / kasbah influence around at the moment so "stay tuned" and I'll update so we can get a whole set together.

Artist: Neenoo x Kaehla

Title: Feel The Love

Release date: 17th March, 2023

Label : Adesso Music

Catalog Number : AM27/WP1467 / Digital / Bandcamp 

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Regular readers will know of our love of all things Finnish Jazz from the 60s to the present and particularly the Ricky-Tick 'golden era'. So how excited were we to hear the We Jazz has done the incredible and got a "modern" big band in the studio to do a new version of Kerkko Koskinen's 2007 album 'Agatha'; now updated to 'Agatha 2'. 

And whilst it heavily features Linda Fredriksson on sax, the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra is a really big 'Big Band'. Now, don't be put off by that title as 'Big Band' is associated with Chazza Shop cheapos [as ever though, look hard enough and you'll find retro revivals of jazz swing: are you ready for a Big Band Bash with the Brighton Jazz Mafia Big Band, The Boogie Bumpers, The Swing Ninjas, Big R Big Band, The Devil's Cut Combo, Miss Annie & The Midnight Shift - I digress but you get the idea].

That said, you'll not find much of a dance as this is more Lalo Schfrin, Gil Evans big band like the prancing 'Piana' or the piano led, 'Mare' or the climax of 'Quiberon'. As you can tell from the cover, there's a hint of “horse” about this (like the saxophone “neighing” on 'Anime') and it's that type of OST soundtrack to a horse Olympics/dressage/show jumping but with jazz and a big bit of nostalgia for the old times. It's a bit of a stretch on first listen and strangely the first 'Agatha' (featuring the 'Miles of the North, Verneri Pohjola) from 2007 didn't feature images of horses on the cover at all!

It would be a bit far to say that this is like a big version of Antti Lötjönen's Quintet East (album out last month on We Jazz, 'Circus/Citadel' review HERE) but perhaps bigger is better?

And in view of the variety of jazz that came out on Ricky-Tick and that this is the first release for over 10 years, it's a big hug and a "welcome back" from all jazz fans.

Artist: Kerkko Koskinen, Linda Fredriksson & UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra

Title: Agatha 2

Release date: 17th March, 2023

Label : We Jazz Records

Catalog Number : WJLP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

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I'm told 2023 has lots of significant astronomical events for us, including solar eclipses, meteor showers, a bright comet passing the Earth and many more but here at YATM, we're looking at 'Beyond The Sky' by Italian drummer/percussionist, Pippo D'Ambrosio.

Pippo has appeared on many albums but this is his follow up to his 'A Peaceful Place' (2020) album and it's also based on a concept, this time inspired by man's relationship with the greater Universe.

But don't exect any Sun Ra 'out there' jazz, although ('Andromeda' does go a bit synthy spacey) as this is a generally laid back jazz album with strong modern influences with elements of fusion and broken beat.

Whilst D'Ambrosio is the leader, this is not all drums to the fore (but watch out for 'Halle Bop' that has a brilliant intro) as he's joined in the band by Eugenio Macchia (Piano / Electric Piano / Synthesizer), Gaetano Partipilo (Alto Saxophone) and Giorgio Vendola (Double Bass).  In fact, the opening track 'Milky Way' sets the tone in a gentle magnetude that defines space.  

Tracks like 'Milky Way' and 'Sirio' stand out where Macchia and Gaetano make the set sound like a simple Weather Report (Ed. I see what I did there?) but where it works best is tracks like 'Aquarius' and 'Hydra' where everyone contributes to make the total more than the sum of the parts. 

That said, 'Cassiopea' (nothing to do with the 70s jazz funk band 'Casiopea' from Japan) and 'Alioth' are the two longest tracks and both 'explore' the jazzways in a deep way; in fact, 'Cassiopea' has got at touch of the We Jazz vs. Herbie Hancock vs. reggae going on and with that bassline/synths and soul organ, I wonder if the Elber Phillips is thinking of a remix at the reforge?

There's no obvious 'big bang' track here (apart from the brilliant 'Cassipea') so it's a bit different from other releases on the label from last year, like Enrico Bracco's 'Flying In A Box' (review HERE), Davide Peluso Quartet's 'The Blue Zone' (review HERE) and Antonio Trinchera's 'The Tractor And The Child' (review HERE) but it certainly gives more on repeated listens.

Artist: Pippo D'Ambrosio  

Title: Beyond The Sky

Release date: 15th March, 2023

Label : A.MA Reforged / A.MA Records

Catalog Number : CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


Monday, 13 March 2023

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If you like it deep, you've probably called the toll free number 1-800-Vincenzo and now he's back. 

All grown up on Be Adult with this release as it's not just solar, it's 'Extrasolar'.

This is where there's synth based space travel to the beach is ready for the Ibiza sun whilst on the 'b-side',  'The Witching Hour' is like a race to a deeper Detroit with big synth bounce.

Following on from the recent compilation '7 Anniversary' (see review HERE), this release shows no sign of any itching problem areas in their relationships with the deep house music producer community so expect another big year for Be Adult.

Artist:  Vincenzo 
Title: Extrasolar  
Release date: 13th March, 2023
Label; Be Adult Music 
Catalog Number: BAM301

Saturday, 11 March 2023

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The Descendants 'Telling Lies' featuring the vocals of Mazen Bedwei on F*CLR Records is so good! And I'm not lying.

When I said, "lets have more from F*CLR [pronounced F.Star.Clear]" when reviewing Wearing Shoes' EP, 'Never Pretend' (review HERE), I didn't think we'd hear so quickly or with such a different sound!

'Telling Lies' is full-on with big strings (as if we're going to go disco), post Italo-piano, a little bit of dubby echo and massive soulful vocals that's as good as any UK club scene from Acid Jazz onwards. 

In fact, this is so good the instrumental version will kill you with the strings alone; if you're lying by a pool at sunset, you'll get ya boogie bathers on when the DJ plays this one for some deep end action.

The name, The Decendants, comes from the fact that this a a family affair with Johnny 'Primed' Cooper, his son Matt & Jeff Cooper.  All have been involved with music for a long time; from Incognito to Outside (D'n'B) to Mazen being on tour with Leroy Hudson.

You might think that this would tend to be derivative but F*CLR those thoughts and get busy with this.  

And rumour has it that some monster remixes are on there way so prepare yourself with these original versions.

Artist: The Descendants ft. Mazen Bedwei 

Title: Telling Lies EP

Release date: 10th March, 2023
Label : F*CLR Music .

Catalog Number : FCLR017 Digital / Bandcamp

Friday, 10 March 2023

You can forget those commerical space flighs and spy balloons, here's the Bantu Spaceship that's ready to take off on Nyami Nyami Records.

This has a swing of David Waters Afro-Carib-soul whilst not travelling too far from Zimbabwe's original  sounds only to bounce to the New Order/"Donna" summer disco synth of 'Bantu Cakes'.

Really like the humour 'Mqibelo (A Prayer For The Weekend) featurig the rap of Kwela Sekele and the great artwork as it reflects the sometime ancient roots to the music.
When there's a mix of old and new (most notably on the dubby Misava (The Arrival) and 'Journey to Misava' featurig Thandi Ntuli, you can hear the link tot he spiritual Sun Ra/Coltranes/Sanders etc. 
And you can see why veteran of the South Africa scene, Kid Fonque (who we've most recently seen finding new African music on EMAMKAY 'When The Sun Rises (review HERE) would want to get his hands on a house remix and you get three versions, the remix, club remix and radio edit so that you get your monies worth. 

Expect to hear this on Colour & Pitch's February radio show with Will Sumsuch and Andy Garvey's future shows (which we discussed on the review of another "discovey", Thakzin & Ray T's 'Don't Let Me See' on Foliage (review HERE).

We featured the single, 'Bantu Electro Sungura' back in January but we didn't expect such a varied album as this.  Especially as the 'Bantu Spaceship' has already been dubbed, "New Jit Wave", YATM is saying this Afro-futursm has no boundaries. 

P.S. Great artwork. 

Artist: Bantu Spaceship 

Title: Bantu Spaceship 

Release date: 10th March, 2023

Label : Nyami Nyami Records

Catalog Number : NNR014 / Bandcamp

After the mighty Digger's Dozen compilation by DJ Muro, BBE return to the apparently never ending treasure trove of the Tony Higgins / Mike Pedon finds for re-issue on the highly-acclaimed J-Jazz Masterclass Series.

This time we've gone all the way back to 1986 for the album called 'Approach'.  Mostly as a trio, as indicated by the cover artwork, Hideo Ichikawa (piano), Isao Suzuki (b) and Masahiko Togashi (percussion/drums) are joined on two tracks by Akira Shiomoto on guitar. 

Such a shame Suzuki passed away last year aged 89 so as not to see the re-issue  but can he feel the vibrations of his bass wherever he may be?  This guy spent many years in the U.S. playing with the likes of Ron Carter, Paul Desmond, Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, and many more.

You can hear such influences in the Bob James like 'Otari' which Suzuki dominates with Ichikawa in an 80s 'SOAP' theme style.  This is in total contrast to their 'free' jazz of 'Tornado' as a duo of Ichikawa and Togashi.

At the other extreme, before Afro-minimal jazz house was thought off, the 11 minutes of 'East Words' is not long enough and frustratingly gets a faded out at the end.  'Long Straight Road' is similar but with Ichikawa and Suzuki duelling ontop of Togashi; again another track faded out short.

The opener 'Make Trip' is more 'traditonal' J-Jazz jazzdance with Akira doing his "Larry Coryell"  after a gentle introduction so it doesn't really prepare you for the variety of the album; 'Mysterious' is just that, the bass is bowed and sounds like there's an A. Christie/P.G. Wodehouse 30s dectective going on with Akira on gentle bossa groove duty - odd and mesmerising at the same time. 

For those that follow Mike 'bacoso' Pedon, you'll know that he recently appeared at the launch of 'Come Sunday' at the Café Artum, Hockley, Birmingham with a vinyl only jazz session (I hope he played 'East Words') so it's really good that this music is reaching ears outside of the usual 'jazzdance' enclaves. 

For an album with only 6 tracks, this sure packs a punch and you'll find that your favourite track changes on every listen; it's just fantastic and so hard to believe it was recorded in 1986 as its timeless.

Artist: Isao Suzuki, Masahiko Togashi, Hideo Ichikawa, Akira Shiomoto

Title: Approach

Release date: 10th March, 2023

Label : BBE Music

Catalog Number : BBE710 LP / CD / Digital / Bandcamp
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On first hearing you're thinkging that there's lots in common with Antti Lötjönen's Quintet East 'Circus​/​Citadel' with its avant garde atmosphere.  But hang on, this is only a trio! 

If you're into We Jazz' Y-OTIS and Koma Saxo as on sax there's tenor saxophonist Otis Sandsjö who joins Traxel (bass) and drummer Moritz Baumgärtner (of Melt Trio). 

From the gentleness of 'Transience' to the manic brilliance of 'Origami', one fold short of a traditional paper crane, this is a deep album that revels in its own somber/sober mélancolie (Lukas is Swiss if it helps).

It's incredible that there are still tapes of Albert Ayler in a trio still being released and if you're a fan, get this debut album as it will not disappoint.

And if you happen to be in Helsinki this summer don't forget the Odysseus Festival on 21-23 July that will include many of your We Jazz favourite acts.

Artist: Lukas Traxel 

Title: One-Eyed Daruma

Release date: 10th March, 2023

Label : We Jazz Records

Catalog Number : WJLP45/ CD / Digital / Bandcamp 

Thursday, 9 March 2023

If you remember T.O.E's 'Say It Loud EP' you'll know the voice of Marcus Malone as it was he that was saying it loud and it was picked up on all by all the best radio stations, notably, the flag waving BBC 6 Music's Craig Charles' Funk & Soul Show.

At first listen my mind went to
 Prince / Sly Stone / Jess Roden and then it's a bit more go-go and then horneyTower Of Power and perhaps even Joe Walsh or Robert Palmer.

Whatever it's got, it's got the "Fight" for some serious funk and soul struttin'. 

So it's perhaps surprising that the guitar side of things in Dan Smith (formerly of the Noisettes; remember their 2009 album 'Wid Young Hearts' that was everywhere on the indie pages at the time) who has got together as a "Motor City Hustler" with Mr. Malone for a forthcoming LP of 60s R&B, Soul and "back to the future funk" called 'Interstate 75'.

These guys will be great live and at any summer festival and you can trust that the single and album is going to be heavily played this year.

Artist: Marcus Malone & The Motor City Hustlers

Title: Can't Take The Fight 

Release date: 10th March, 2023

Label: Ramrock Red Records

Cat. No: RRR

Format: Digital

Monday, 6 March 2023

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If you're new to the label, Be Adult Music, it's a good time as they 7 years of being grown up with a ten track compilation.

You can tell straight away from the opener, Cielo's 'Nectarine' that these guys live the deep Ibizan beach dream as they party swoon in the westernmost parts of the Balearic Islands:

'Death on the Balcony' isn't a cheery title but we're in synthy Detroit area code and 'Imagination' is a fast dub (Ed: is that possible?) going on that's got something of Rise Ashen about it.

There's inevitably some dreamy white isle downtempo with views of the solar system (as per the cover artwork); don't be misled by the title of 'Back To My Roots' as its no 'Going Back To My Roots' disco homage. But it just goes to show the various styles and quality that been gathered here; need to check more from Greg Ochman on the strength of 'Caramel' alone or 'Broken Pieces Of You' by Paul Losev. 

Talking about the label, a fan said, that they've "been on fire lately- a string of incredible releases!" and we're not going to disagree on this showing.

And if that wasn't enough, Sumsuch played a couple of their tracks on his most recent Colour and Pitch podcast; Cedric Salander' 'Essence' and 'A Soul' by Paul Losev to enjoy.

Artist: Various Artists
Title: 7 Anniversary
Release date: 6th March, 2023
Label; Be Adult Music
Catalog Number: BAM300
2Death On The BalconyForce Of Habit8:43
3DSF Impression7:24
4Erdi IrmakEasy Now7:03
5Evren FurtunaBack To My Roots7:07
6Greg OchmanCaramel8:00
7Ilias KatelanosPlectaSirenes7:06
8MissfeatJunDon't Fool Yourself7:20
9Paul LosevBroken Pieces Of You5:43
10Moo VeAlways With You6:34

Sunday, 5 March 2023

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La Sape Records are based in Naarm/Melbourne, Australia and is the home of jazz super group, JK Group fronted by award winning saxophonist Josh Kelly, Godtet and many more including keyboardist David Versace.

And like their other signings, Versace is pushing boundaries following his seven track album 'Okra' of last year.

'Marseille Movement' (actually recorded in London with mixed group of UK/Australian musicians) is 5 minutes of Latin jazz and no doubt earmarked by Patrick Forge/Colin Curits/Gilles Peterson for Dingwalls for sure this year at it's got that 'now' London jazz-funk sound of 80s David Benoit. 

Forge was a big fan of  'Summer Party' and 'Saquaro' for their samba jazz dancing and it this keeps up, they'll be lots more applicants for 'Wanted Down Under'; g'Day David.

Artist: David Versace 

Title: Marseille Movement

Release date: 3rd March, 2023

Label La Sape Records

Format/Cat. No. : Digital / Bandcamp

Finn Rees (Piano), Jasper Gundersen (Drums), Josh Arcoleo (Sax), Cain Robertson (Guitar) Christopher Hargreaves (Bass), Tom Herbert (Double Bass), Elle Shimada (Violin), Luis Manuel (Congas), William Purton (Studio Engineer), Alex L’Estrange (Mastering Engineer) David Versace (Keyboards, Percussion & Production).

Saturday, 4 March 2023

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You'll recall from the earlier single and EP releases that we're big fans of Urbs and his 'Geheimland' project that's now being released as an album.

The opening track, ''Levitation' gives you an idea why this guy has been so in demand with film, TV/documentaries and commercial industries. And then the other ten tracks are so definitive of his  is soulfully deep beats of lush nu-jazz instrumentals.

Tracks tracks like, 'Mighty Amethyst' gets his Miles dub up, 'Mandarine Sparrow Song' is Acker Bilk vs. Toots Thielemans (ask your grandparents) and 'Im Geheimland' start the journey in secret land far, far away where OST meets hip-hop beats and synths.

At the other extreme, 'Thasos' is lining up for the Balearic beach party remix with it's 'waves on the beach' sound efx, whispy vocals and flutes in the breeze and is cleverly followed by a even more mellow track, 'She Of Tranquility' (did you see what he did there?) with synths on the shoreline in space and 'Woodwind' brings us back to he flutes vs. twangy guitar PI detective theme' and then 'Cryosol' (the only vocal track) gets even closer to nordic/film noir with the big strings that's close to Cinematic Orchestra.

'The Lizbeth Phraze' slips in some Indo-jazz whilst 'Ever Golden' is another jazzy theme that very TV with beautiful bass a la Ron Carter.

The album ends on a high as 'Light Comes On' manages to capture all of what's gone on before as if, the lights have come on.

If you take out the heavy jazz from Cinephonic's 'Visions' (review HERE) and mixed it up with the beats of Si Tew's 'Quietude (review HERE) and Conic Rose's 'Heller Tag' (review HERE) you can see why this album is getting the response from all you're usual DJ suspects from Gilles, Peterson to Rainer Trüby to Jonny Trunk  
Compost Records are on a winner with this one as 2023 upddate on the Kruder & Dorfmeiser style! 

P.S. Isn't the artwork stunning

Artist: Urbs
Title: Geheimland
Release date: 3rd March, 2023
Label : Compost Records
Catalog Number : CPT603 / CD / Digital / Bandcamp